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Need some advice on weddings/photo shoot

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2017 at 21:47
sucker76 View Drop Down
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Hey folks, has anyone photographed a wedding or any formal photo shoot?  I have now done my 2nd wedding.  I didn't feel under equipped for the job but always look for improvement.  I took two cameras and several lenses and a tripod but what other things are "nice to have" or "don't leave home without it"? 
The question is broad but the answers can be anything from equipment to fleshing out a good contract before hand (researching this now).  Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2017 at 22:16
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Most states have a PPA at state level which can provide training opportunities.  Conventions like http://www.wppionline.com/wppi-show.shtml can teach you what good wedding photos look like.
There are many styles of wedding photography.  I tend to like to have a portable canvas background and studio type lights.  I think its a nice idea to have different types of remote flash units for certain types of shots.  A tripod is great for window light shots.  If you can talk them into doing interesting things after the wedding you can get some great shots.  Hard to get them to do bridal portraits prior because of hair and makeup and flowers. Engagement photos that tell a story of where they met are a good idea.  No matter what you are limited to what they want but each wedding has its own unique opportunities you just have to scout the area in advance and be prepared to make suggestions. Knowing to put the sun behind them outside and using fill flash is key to outdoor portraits just like blocking out as much of the sky as possible with trees and using depth of field to your advantage.
If you have specific questions you can ask.  I did that for a living for about 10 yrs.  Honestly you can spend way more money on equipment than what you can ever make back in most markets. Digital killed it for me I was getting 25 for 5x7 and smaller and 45 for 8x10 good luck selling anything larger it rarely happens. People don't like to buy photography sight unseen so you need to have some sample albums.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/02/2017 at 22:56
sucker76 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the link and the advice.  I am slowly building my equipment up like the studio lights etc.  I only have one speedlight but have used it off camera with good success. My wife helps with scouting locations and poses and camera angles. 

It rained on the wedding day so all of our outdoor pictures got scrapped for indoor only.  What mattered is the bride and groom loved the pictures I took. 

On the making money end, I didn't charge by the mastered photo but charged a flat (token) rate for several pictures on DVD and said they can reproduce them all they want.  I did this for two reasons.  The bride and groom were good friends and on a tight budget and I am new to this and want to get advertising.  I gave them two copies on each one.  A high resolution for prints and low resolution with a watermark with name for uploads to social media. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/22/2017 at 20:00
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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People often value your work at what they have to pay for it.  I've done free photo jobs for friends but if you approach this as a business you have to value your time and equipment costs.  I always had top quality equipment with a backup if something didn't work when doing it for pay.  There is lots of money to be made doing senior photos and on location enviromental family portraits. Weddings are a tough sell. Doing work on digital is less of a risk than it was on film because your film and developing costs for a good wedding ran about $250 cost shooting medium format or 35 mm.  With digital you can shoot lots but make sure you have check off list of the basic photos you would expect to find in the album and mark them off when you do them.  Having better lighting techniques than the guy next to you with his phone camera is important and some type of off camera light with a radio slave system would be preferable as well as having a good tripod for existing light shots. A photographer can only be at one wedding per day and do it correctly most will be Fri or Sat and out of 52 weeks most photographers are only busy a few of them because all brides want Spring or Fall weddings typically so once your booked on a date its not like you create more weekends in June.
Really good albums Leather Craftsman and Capri or Art Leather tend to be costly to put together.
Someone starting out might be better off to set a flat rate $ Plus whatever they order at cost but the down side there is it takes a lot of time to properly put together an album. The problem with handing them a CD and saying print what you want is that a pro lab wont be doing their prints and you wont get the kind of custom prints and retouched prints and digital artwork that makes pictures really great.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2017 at 10:25
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Get at least a down payment with final due to get pictures. Get paid before the person who is going to pay gets drunk or leaves. If people want video you need two people. One to take pics and one to shoot video. You'll get more jobs if you speak espanol.

A good gimmick is to set up backdrops for specific holidays and take a list of appointments for small packages at small prices. It's the same time as going somewhere to shoot an event, but you stay in one spot and run many people through.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2017 at 13:14
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Phil, I informally shot shot my wife's aunts wedding as a favor. They didn't have much and offered to cover equipment. Like you had several questions after I shot and doing the post processing I wish I would have had more exposures. Even though I processed over 300 images.  They were all of people. Looking back, I wish I would have shot more artful pictures, with the rings, Bible, flowers ect...

This also happened shortly after getting my camera. I rented the Nikkor 14-24mm F/2.8 and 70-200mm F/2.8, of which was all I needed for that wedding.  At the risk of losing my man card to some of the joker's here, I would advise opening a pintrest account and looking at wedding photography to obtain ideas and try to recreate the same shots for a unique presentation for your clients. I may take some practice to execute exactly, but it's that little extra that people remember. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2017 at 19:23
sucker76 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the additions.  I got full payment before the wedding.  The couple were also friends but that didn't keep the nerves down.  I also wish I took better artsy photos.  The rainy weather didn't help.  I took plenty of lenses and didn't feel like I was "undergunned".

One learning point is make a contract as to what pictures will be taken.  I was asked at the last minute to take extra pictures I wasn't counting on.  This added to my post processing workload. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 09:25
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Originally posted by sucker76 sucker76 wrote:



One learning point is make a contract as to what pictures will be taken.  I was asked at the last minute to take extra pictures I wasn't counting on.  This added to my post processing workload. 

That's a good idea.  

I was talking to my son and thinking about getting him a Nikon point and shoot to walk around and take candids. Told him I would pay him per pic. He's pretty excited about that. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 13:26
koshkin View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

Phil, I informally shot shot my wife's aunts wedding as a favor. They didn't have much and offered to cover equipment. Like you had several questions after I shot and doing the post processing I wish I would have had more exposures. Even though I processed over 300 images.  They were all of people. Looking back, I wish I would have shot more artful pictures, with the rings, Bible, flowers ect...

This also happened shortly after getting my camera. I rented the Nikkor 14-24mm F/2.8 and 70-200mm F/2.8, of which was all I needed for that wedding.  At the risk of losing my man card to some of the joker's here, I would advise opening a pintrest account and looking at wedding photography to obtain ideas and try to recreate the same shots for a unique presentation for your clients. I may take some practice to execute exactly, but it's that little extra that people remember. 


What man card?
I do not think you have anything to lose at this point.

All jokes aside, learn how to use light. Most instructional photobooks stink in this regard.

The best one I know of is the one by Irakly Shanidze. He is an incredible photographer and is excellent at explaining things.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 14:15
sucker76 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

Originally posted by sucker76 sucker76 wrote:



One learning point is make a contract as to what pictures will be taken.  I was asked at the last minute to take extra pictures I wasn't counting on.  This added to my post processing workload. 

That's a good idea.  

I was talking to my son and thinking about getting him a Nikon point and shoot to walk around and take candids. Told him I would pay him per pic. He's pretty excited about that. 


I don't mind candids at all in fact I love catching people at just the right time sometimes.  The rub was it wasn't asked up front and I wasn't prepared for the extra time needed for shooting and processing.  I got over it quickly and did what the bride asked.  I remember getting married and it is definitely a day for the bride. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 14:20
sucker76 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

Phil, I informally shot shot my wife's aunts wedding as a favor. They didn't have much and offered to cover equipment. Like you had several questions after I shot and doing the post processing I wish I would have had more exposures. Even though I processed over 300 images.  They were all of people. Looking back, I wish I would have shot more artful pictures, with the rings, Bible, flowers ect...

This also happened shortly after getting my camera. I rented the Nikkor 14-24mm F/2.8 and 70-200mm F/2.8, of which was all I needed for that wedding.  At the risk of losing my man card to some of the joker's here, I would advise opening a pintrest account and looking at wedding photography to obtain ideas and try to recreate the same shots for a unique presentation for your clients. I may take some practice to execute exactly, but it's that little extra that people remember. 


What man card?
I do not think you have anything to lose at this point.

All jokes aside, learn how to use light. Most instructional photobooks stink in this regard.

The best one I know of is the one by Irakly Shanidze. He is an incredible photographer and is excellent at explaining things.

ILya


Lighting is still my weak link.  I struggle with it always.  I'll check out the person you quoted, Thanks. 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 14:25
sucker76 View Drop Down
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On a side note, I put wedding in the title but I'm not confining myself to just that.  I want to grow this as a general photography business.  I think it will open doors instead of shut them and the friends wedding I shot was very stressful trying to get the perfect shot the first time because there won't be a retake. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 16:42
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Originally posted by sucker76 sucker76 wrote:

On a side note, I put wedding in the title but I'm not confining myself to just that.  I want to grow this as a general photography business.  I think it will open doors instead of shut them and the friends wedding I shot was very stressful trying to get the perfect shot the first time because there won't be a retake. 


You have a 50/50 chance of doing both again! Just ask me! RETAKE more likely than not.

For both.😂🥃👍
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2017 at 18:06
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Between the ceremony and the reception, have the bridal party remain for formal, setup pictures. With out the crowd or guest around to interrupt the staging. These will give you a chance to use proper lighting to make these pictures stand out from the snapshots. It is also a good practice to shoot burst of at least 5 or more pictures to get the one that someone is not blinking or worse.
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